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Outlaw fleet update page 4 June 21 One in one out

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Did 300 odd miles on Sunday 17th, up to that there Midlands - Cannock / Hednesford to be precise, carrying 4 passengers, and beating the twatnav by 44 minutes  :-D on the way there.....


Observations: There's not as much shoulder room in the back as THAT SPANISH BASTARD, however, there was reportedly moar legroom. I'm not fussed, I was in the front.....

Averaged 35.4mpg on the way up, in "mixed" driving....i saw an indicated 135 on a private bit of the M1.....

The heater works well, and quickly - from leaving it at 12.30ish, and going back at 17.30ish, in 1 degree temperature, it took no more than 5 minutes to provide warm air. that's pretty impressive. 

The stereo (Pie-In-Ear jobboie, running through the standard Bose speakers) sounds wicked - Peeping Tom album on a CD-R played mercilessly, demonstrated the woofers perfectly!

The brakes are a bit pants. This is the first fully loaded, high speed trip, and whilst the brakes work, they don't inspire the same levels of confidence as those in TSB. I have been looking at grooved and drilled stuff on ebay......


Took a bit longer to get home, although still managed a satnav beating time, and the mpg was a little better - an overall average of 36.4...which is a damn site better than TSB managed on an identical journey, 5 up, 2 years ago (30ish).


Got home at 8.45pm, and I honestly felt like I'd only driven to the shops....TSB would have had me reaching for a chiropractor's phone number, and / or my bed. 


In short, she earned herself a few brownie points with the chaps, and I'm well chuffed.


(Touch wood) Nothing's fallen off or broken, no expenses...although the rear wiper is FUBAR, that won't be dear.

Glad it's all working well for you.  I used to get about 36mpg short journeys locally and a bit more on a run.  Don't believe the trip computer as it lies.


Space is a bit tight in the back but i did carry two kids + seats and a teenager on a few long journeys and they didn't moan that much.


I never found the brakes that bad but i get the impression you are a 'press on' driver!  I never had it up to anything like that speed on my private road but i know it will pull well at big speeds even in 6th gear due to the torque.


The rear wiper motor packed up so i replaced it with a used one off ebay.  Seem to remember it wasn't expensive.  Apparently you can unseize them quite easily if you know what you are doing, i.e. don't hit it repeatedly with a lump hammer while in a vice which i did with the first one.


Keep us updated!

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  • 11 months later...



I've been a little lax in updating this thread, because 1) i'm quite lazy, and 2) nothing has happened.


Had a front wheel bearing replaced just before Christmas, the noise was getting on my tits, i finally gave in.... quite reasonable, £150 fitted IIRC.


Halfords for another light bulb... drivers side Main beam, there's no way I'm going to attempt that with my ham=-fists....


Then about 3 months ago, i got in, turned the key.... nothing. 

Checked that the battery was tightly connected, and had juice in it, swore at it, turned key agin, all is well. I just put this episode down to her having the car equivalent of PMS or summert.


Fast forward to today - nip round to see Mutha&Fatha_Outlaw, come back out to go to hospital appointment..... nothing. Did all the usual thinks, wiggling keys, calling it a fucker, still FTP, so drove to hospital in the Old's B-Max (which isn't that bad).


rang the AA, matey turns up 10 minutes before the "due" time, and the problem is still there. He got under the dash, wiggled some wires..... nothing. He tries twice more, and on the third time all is well. Switches off, works. Switches off. Starts again? Does it bollocks.



He was there a good 45 minutes before throwing in the towel - she was running again by then, but he had no idea how / why / what he'd done.


Phone call to my tame garage Monday, await open wallet surgery.

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Just seen MrSpike's post - however, it's been into my friendly garage, and a loose ignition wire has been diagnosed, there's a connection under the bonnet with a spacer / bush on it which had worked loose - unfortunately I gave the mechanic the AA report which pointed to the wires coming out of the ignition switch, so that's where he started his search. 

After finding no apparent fault - and taking 1.5 hours - he started working from the battery end, and found the fault pretty much straightaway. (Bodged) Modification made and all good.


Rear wiper still doesn't work - but it's definitely the motor - ebay will be sending me one of those after payday, and now I know that there's nothing hideous going on with teh Spaghetti Marinelli wiring, I'll do that myself. (Note: I don't do elecktrickery since an unfortunate involving a cartoon-like blackened face).


The high level brake light doesn't work either - apparently a new unit required there too, but ebay seems to be drawing a blank. Officially speaking as enny fule no, if a car is fitted witha light, for an moT, it should work. If I don't get it fixed it's not a massive problem, I'll just cover it with gaffa tape or summert. Or the tester (same as above) might note notice (wink wink).


Just brimmed the tank in preparation for a trip to Cannock on Sunday leaving at stupid o clock. Range currently says 540 miles, will report back on mpg / speeds and shizz.

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@ MrBenHar - that was my first thought, that there could be a break in the wire where it feeds through, ive had that before on my MK3 Astra Estate - but no, there's power going to the wiper motor - much sparkage occurred, matey filmed it on his phone.... and the brake light has power going in too, just doesn't seem to want to work. Doesn't appear to be connected to the "tell-tale" light fault warning light on the dash though, which is a bit weird.

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Only just caught up with this. Glad it's been mostly behaving itself for you. I was going to suggest the not starting could be the main fuse inside the little box on top of the battery as they can give trouble.


I replaced the wiper motor myself with a used one off eBay. Took me a while before one came up. It worked fine for a while but then got a bit slower. Apparently a decent garage can strip them and get them working again. At least, the Alfa garage in Leicester, Intaservices, can.


Wouldn't mind seeing a photo or two when you get chance although it might make me cry. I do miss that engine and the looks of the thing. My 90bhp 406 does feel a bit lacking in that department...

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Yep, she's been behaving pretty well, only the one FTP as mentioned above, and aside from that, the only expenditure has been tyres and a wheelbearing.


The AA blokey checked the fuses first - the offending wire was just in front of the fusebox, so at least he was in the right area. Unfortunately the fault only seemed to rectify itself while he was wiggling wires about under that dash, whilst upside down on the drivers seat.... never mind eh?


There's a place in Grays that repair starter motors and the like, I would imagine they can turn their hand to it - at the end of the day it's a quick enough job to whip the old one off, and if they can fix it for less that £60 - which seems to be the going rate for a new one off Ebay - then I R WINNAR.


I'll attempt to take some photos at the weekend - she's pretty grubby at the moment and 300 miles on the M25 M1 and M6 on Sunday won't do her any favours. Might do some before Bosnian car wash and After Bosnian Car Wash....

She still shines up well, the rear bumper is still a bit scratched, but partly disguised with Colour Magic, and the front bumper has got a crack in it, just under the O/S headlight after some forced off-roading caught the spoiler. Oh, and I've broken the end off the passenger side skirt because I wasn't concentrating. 


Even after 14 months I still sometimes have to glance back at her when I park her up, such a pretty car. 

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Brand new rear wiper motor is around £80 from the dealer if I remember, that's what I ended up doing. And a rear badge which was nearly the same, spent a million quid on mine to tidy it up and then drove it 500 miles and bought a 300 quid bmw.

To keep it nice, you understand. Not to replace it.

It's on wide 17s and has 6 cylinders up front, turn circle is pretty good for me.

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  • 3 months later...

Brief update on "Alf"; 


It's now an MPV. It's official, a burly twat can fit in the boot to be driven from Hammersmith to Grays (yes I know it's illegal / unsafe / unethical) due to OMGPUBICTRANSPORTRSHIT the other day. So me driving, Blind Trev in the front, three herberts in the back, and one in the boot.




And it's done the self healing thing again.


While travelling in a southerly direct on a bit of private* road she reached the dizzy heights of 120ish, (ASDA was about to close), whereupon the dashboard lit up like a bastard christmas tree, and the "info centre" warned of impending doom - ASR FAULT! ABS FAULT! YOUR FAULT!! etc.....


Went to ASDA bought stuff, came out, no lights. 


This car is like Lazarus or summert.



Last weekend on a trip to Dorset, the airbag light decided it'd stay on. that hasn't fixed itself yet, but it's only a matter of time Shirley?

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  • 1 month later...

Nothing further to report, the airbag light is still on.... and after a trip to da schmoke this afternoon, it's now not got a front numberplate.




Going up to Rolleston - on -Dove tomorrow to Swmbo's mate's and take in the car show there on bank holiday monday, so need one made on the quick, hopefully someone will be able to do it while i waitz m8. Sod's law innit?

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Nothing further to report, the airbag light is still on.... and after a trip to da schmoke this afternoon, it's now not got a front numberplate.




Going up to Rolleston - on -Dove tomorrow to Swmbo's mate's and take in the car show there on bank holiday monday, so need one made on the quick, hopefully someone will be able to do it while i waitz m8. Sod's law innit?

The last time I had a similar problem(dozy brother shifted his private plate without telling me or ordering new plates) I just got the number plate font from Teh Internetz and printed off a set of plates, wrapped in polythene and gaffertaped/double-sided taped on in best Blue Peter style; then ordered plates of cheapness from eee-bay or wherever. You get your wallet violated buying over the counter for some reason.

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  • 1 month later...

Just had the air-con regassed at Halfrauds, definitely cooler, but the fan appears to be all mouth and no trousers... lots of noise, but not a lot of action. 


AND electrical issue solved for now, local garage wired her up to diagnostics, and came to the conclusion that there's sommert wrong with the battery, so new OE Bosch installed. New top wishbone done to solve clonkiness, £300 spent on all bits.


had her photo taken at Alfa day at Knebworth, blue pig photography...was going to copy ontpo here but £25 for the digital file that won't happen. Promise I'll take an up to date pic soon!

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  • 7 months later...

Fleet Update time, I'll include the modernz in here too unless anyone is deeply offended.


Alfa 156. Has had a FTP during the last week - Thursday morning to be precise. She'd been sitting on the drive accumulating OMGSNER all week so I thought it'd be a good idea to take it for a run. Got in, nothing. No dash lights, no mileometer, nothing. Interior/courtesy light working, remote central locking also working. Switched stereo on, yep that works too. 


Probably not the battery I'm guessing, but I didn't have time to piss about, so did my errand in Mrs_Outlaw's Rio.

Fast forward to today, went to garage, got extension lead, battery charger, WD-40, and hot air gun. Arranged extension lead through the letterbox, plugged it in, trailing grubby slush everywhere (Mrs_Outlaw was out OBVS). Stuck key in ignition, turned, and WAHEY dashboard lights. Waited for 5 seconds, glowplug light goes out, turns key, starts first time.

Whilst I'm pleased about this, it's a pain in the arse - will it do it again? Probably. 

MoT passed in November,after a few quid chucked:


14 November 2017 FAIL
Mileage155,703 miles
MOT test number4097 9080 1648
Test locationunavailable until further notice
Reason(s) for failure
  • Supplementary Restraint System warning lamp indicates a fault airbag (5.4.2)
  • Nearside Rear brake caliper has restricted free movement (3.5.1k)
  • Offside Rear Tyre has ply or cords exposed (4.1.D.1b)
  • Offside Front Front constant velocity joint gaiter damaged to the extent that it no longer prevents the ingress of dirt etc (2.5.C.1a)
  • Nearside Rear Brake pad(s) less than 1.5 mm thick (3.5.1g)
  • Offside Rear Brake pad(s) less than 1.5 mm thick (3.5.1g)
Advisory notice item(s)
  • Nearside Rear Tyre worn close to the legal limit (4.1.E.1)
  • front brake discs scored and pitted on inner faces
  • exhaust front bracket broken
  • Front Exhaust has a minor leak of exhaust gases exhaust/ turbo joint (7.1.2)


  • Mrs_Outlaw's Rio.
  • Nothing massive to report - I've discovered that if you switch off the "Economy" setting, it's marginally more responsive on the throttle, and goes a bit quicker. It's still no fireball, and it does nothing for the handling (leaden and soggy at the same time, and thoroughly uninterested in "playing"). And it's started beeping for no apparent reason. After some investigation, it's the seatbelt warning beeper, and after a spray of some smelly cleaner, it stopped.


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Couple of weeks ago, pootling about in the van, turned right into a side road heard a noise which sounded like i'd run iover a drinks can.


Weird, I thought, didn't see anything; looked in the mirror....
40600658251_bb8c29af4d_b.jpgfn62trv2 by Bob Livermore, on Flickr


40600658281_ddf3a2eb15_b.jpgfn62trv by Bob Livermore, on Flickr


This was about 1.15pm. Rang the AA, describe the "issue" and advised it appeared terminal, and would need recovery back to the depot in Witham by 16.00.


They were busy apparently, and nobody turned up until 15.30, a bloke who looked like a grubby, miserable Father Christmas, took one look at it, and using Junkman terminology, said "It's Fucked".


After some time I ring the AA as I've heard nowt. It's now 16.20.

"Your job is showing as resolved, if it's a new problem, you'll need to raise another job".


After much polite* chat, I was told recovery would be with me "within 2 hours". 


They turned up at 18.45, recovered it back to Outlaw_Towers, whereupon  I'd wasted 6 hours and 30 minutes.


Got another recovery bloke out the following morning, got it recovered to depot.

40600658221_62fd5975f0_b.jpgfn62trv4 by Bob Livermore, on Flickr


40600658231_1d72626b96_b.jpgfn62trv3 by Bob Livermore, on Flickr


Transport won't pay for a new gearbox (£2000) as the van will be replaced soon, so apparently Lincoln depot are stripping one, and the gearbox is being delived to my depot at some point this week. How much to rent a van (Transit Connest) for four weeks? Surely not £2k, but who knows how long it's all going to take.

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Never ceases to amaze me that the likes of the AA always faff about. Especially when it's a trade policy and the description of the fault is along the lines of "it's blown a bloody great hole in the gearbox" yet they still insist on sending two separate vehicles.


In my case it was a clapped out LDV Convoy that decided to drop a gear into the box, which then atomised all over the A90 - the resulting lockup at 60-ish mph also then caused the equally knackered diff to turn itself into a fragmentation grenade, spitting it's innards all over the carriageway, before also locking solid. Cue highly exciting skid to a halt with the double rear wheels locked solid. That seemed to take an Exceedingly Long Time.


...they still sent a ruddy technician out first to see if they could "resolve" the issue.


On the plus side, he did at least help me sweep up the bits of gearbox and diff! ...three hours later the recovery truck turned up.

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  • 4 months later...



Alfa is getting increasingly smoky - she always did have a "charming" habit of chucking out clag when giving it the beans, but now seems to be doing it at lesser throttle application, ie cruising at 65mph on M25, apply a light prod to get to 70ish, smoke.

First thing will be to change the air filter, then take it round the corner to see if matey at the garage can detect over-fuelling.


Outlaw_Boy's Focus was running like a sack of shit, so he brought it round with the grandkids in tow. Eldest boy, 14 was to be apprentice, ie do the work while we watched.

Plugs changed, test drive, better but not perfect.

Leads done, test drive, all good.

Outlaw_Boy then decides to show Outlaw_Grandson how the spark plug works, so yanks off a lead, sticks an old plug in, and holds against engine. Big fat spark, Grandson impressed, lead reattached.


Car then started again, instantly revved up to 6000rpm, EML on.




We took the air intake off, checked the throttle linkage, until we admitted defeat and called the AA.


To their credit they were there in under 15 minutes - yeah, really, and after some poking about, declared it was the idle control valve and not something he could fix. Offered to tow to a garage but we decided to leave it at Outlaw Towers.


Sourced a new ICV yesterday, fitted it.... turned key... WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH.


Focus now on the verge in disgrace, while Junior has the Alfa. He's going to talk to someone at work (Fords @ Dagenham) and hopefully get it recovered there at some point today.



The Vauxhall?


It's still shit. EML coming on at random intervals, took it into depot on Friday, apparently it's the fuel regulator sensor or sommert. Had new injectors and sensor about 18 months ago - 15,000 miles.



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  • 2 weeks later...

The Alfa Of Much Lovliness is unwell. 

Outlaw_Junior has been using it whilst he Fuckus is fixed.... more of that below; which means that she's getting used every day, instead of once or twice a week, which appears to have accelerated the deterioration, to the point where last Thursday (2/8/18) whilst SWMBO was following Junior home from taking Micro_Outlaw swimming, and it was pouring out thick, black smelly smoke, obscuring the number plate, lights, everything.

A decision was made there and then to take it off the road, Junior and Micro took The Kia of Much Tedium, and I got home from work just in time to run the Alfa round to the garage for some looking-at. No cars @ Outlaw_Towers!

I've been advised by a few people it could be the air filter or injectors; if it's anything else it's going to be expensive, and I'll have to make a fairly difficult decision. I'#ve not heard owt yet......


The Focus was towed to a friend or Junior's friends garage in Boreham, andhe poked about and reckoned the ECU was fried. This was 25th July, and the ECU was sent off for testing. The bloke is fairly relaxed (glacial pace) and despite chasing loads of times we / Junior heard nothing until last Thursday, saying the ECU was fixed. Got a call yesterday morning went and got it back, £200 changed hands, job done.


Had the error code reset on The Van Of Much Shitness, Friday last 27th?, and since then the EMl has come on 6 times, the last time whilst overtaking a car transporter on the M25, bouncing off the speed limiter at an indicated 70 (true 66mph). Nice.


Hopefully it'll be going into the workshop soon - The Firm negotiated an extended warranty of 5 years on vauxhall Fleet, which has run out, so it's got to go into a depot.

Hire van ahoy - hopefully it'll be something nice....

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  • 3 weeks later...

Smoll update....


The Alfa's smoke problem was diagnosed to be mainly a split turbo pipe, big diameter thing that snakes round the engine bay under the wing and to the intercooler. Genuine part fitted, £200 up my shirt. 

Fuel and air filters could do with a change too, but it now only smokes a little bit when it's cold, and when you plant your trotter on the loud pedal with any force.


So, yesterday, SWMBO wanted to "do something" so we set off for Brighton. Got as far as M25 and the QE2 bridge was at a standstill so we aborted. Decided to go to West End, have a mooch round Covent Garden, then to Oxford Street. SWMBO has a blue badge so parking shouldn't be an issue, and it wasn't. 

Weather, supposed to be "showers" turned into a full-on monsoon so we bailed after an hour - 30 minutes of which were spent in Costa Coffee...so we went to The Pictures in Dagenham. Bought tickets, 45 minutes till showtime, then nipped across the carpark to MacD's. Came out tried to start the car, nowt. Walked across to cinema, watched Incredibles 2 (yes I know) tried to start her again, lights on dash, but nowt.

Rang AA at 17.20, matey was there by 18.00 diagnosed faulty starter motor, gave it a few whacks, then tow started me, and got me home. 

Was planning on going to "Crash For Cancer" at Kings Lynn today, but no car, and the prospect of another bill has put pay to that.

I hate cars.


VOXSHALL has healed itself; EML hasn't illuminated since the last update, and has been behaving.

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  • outlaw118 changed the title to Outlaw fleet update page 4 June 21 One in one out

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